What She Really Wants For Mother's Day
Photo by Kathy Beaver Photography
I remember when I became a mom that Mother's Day took on a whole new meaning, for obvious reasons. For years I'd celebrated my own mom with cards, presents, flowers, brunch made by my brother and me (OMG my dad still laughs at our attempt to make Hollandaise sauce.) But when I joined the mommy ranks, I had no idea how or what I wanted in honor of the holiday. It's not like a birthday or Christmas, or even Valentine's. To me, it's not one of those holidays that's best recognized with a gift-wrapped package or vase of flowers (though those things are very nice.)
When you're a mom, you constantly vacillate between wanting to snuggle your kids for the next 18 years straight and locking yourself in your room for just 30 seconds of quiet alone time. It's the weirdest dichotomy, I'll admit, but it's true for just about every mom I know. One minute you're counting down the seconds 'til the baby sitter arrives, the next you're bawling over your child's first step and how you don't want them to grow up. You want to be the best mom you can be, but you don't want the woman that you are to disappear.
Photo by Kathy Beaver Photography
So here's what I suggest for Mother's Day: give her an experience. Give her time. Give her support in her busy day-to-day life. Show her that you hear her. That you recognize how much she does for the family, all day, every day.
Here are my top five gift ideas that don't require shipping, a gift receipt, or even wrapping paper.
1 | Concierge service. One of the most valuable yet fleeting resources in a mom's life is time. Layer on top of that the constant strategizing and logistical planning that goes into running simple, everyday errands and you can see why mama needs wine by 5 PM on the dot! Save her time and gray hairs by hiring a local concierge service - like Tick Tock Concierge here in Asheville - to handle life's busy work such as grocery shopping, shipping packages, hiring (and waiting on) maintenance, and so forth. You're basically giving her the chance to spend time on her, to be sure she practices the essential self-care we mother's need to keep our stamina up.
Speaking from plenty of experience, it's hard to meal plan, physically shop for, unload the car, and put away groceries when you've got a very young kid. It's exhausting. Let her take a break from that for awhile, she'll be soooo happy!
2 | Hire someone to finally do that thing she's been wanting done. Don't get it twisted and think I'm suggesting you hire a Mr. Fix-It for a Mother's Day gift and leave it at that. I'm telling you to take this opportunity to do something on a larger scale around your home that she's been wanting to do for awhile. Repaint a room or the front door. Landscape the yard. Install window boxes. Put in a fire pit. Screen in the porch. Pick out a fancy new couch, or create a gallery wall filled with her favorite photos of the family, travels, etc. Whatever it is that she's been wanting to do, actually finally do it! If you can hire it out and put it in the hands of a professional, that would be best. Whatever you do, do not create a mess that she'll stress over and have to clean up.
3 | Put her up in a hotel for a night -- by herself. Real talk: sometimes all a mom wants is blissful peace and quiet. The chance to make decisions for herself and herself alone, whatever she wants to do whenever she wants to do it. To curl up with a book and a blanket and take a nap...a nap! To marathon a cheesy movie trilogy or bad reality show. To sit at the bar with a glass of wine and scroll through her phone without having to worry about ignoring her children or setting a bad example of table side behavior. Let her be the one to get away for a night out of the house, away from household chores looming on her 'to-do' list. If she wants to bring a girlfriend along, all the better! If she wants to be alone, let her do her thing. The point is, whatever she wants to do with her freedom is up to her -- that is a fabulous gift for a busy mom!
Bonus points if there's a spa at the hotel :D
4 | Create a mommy movie montage. Surprise her with a trip down memory lane with a homemade movie of old photos and video clips of your children growing up and set it to music. Mix in the photos she's looked at a 1,000 times with some she hasn't seen in awhile....even those in which she looks disheveled and under-slept. Look for videos that show your kid doing something that maybe you both forgot about. Present it to her as a family: set her down in the family room, hand her a mimosa, give her a card and a gift to unwrap, then press 'play' on your movie. Have a pack of tissues in your back pocket for the inevitable happy tears.
5 | Shopping money and a stylist. Okay, this is a borderline shameless plug but here's the reason why: soooooooooo soooo many of my clients hire me to edit their closets or shop for them after they've had children. Their bodies have been in flux for years, their wardrobes are crammed full of old clothes in a wide range of sizes, and they don't even know what their personal style is at this point. Before kids they dressed one way, during pregnancy and early parenthood another, and now that baby bumps and breastfeeding are in the rear-view mirror they don't know how to adapt their own style point-of-view to their new reality as a mom. A mother's body (and life!) are given over to their children from the moment they see the positive symbol on a pee stick. When she finally reaches a point that she can begin to reclaim it, dressing in a way that makes her feel captivating and fashionable without sacrificing functionality is a big deal.
Hiring a stylist will help her navigate her new normal: who she is, where she's at in life, what to buy to suit her life and style, and how to wear it. Plus, a stylist can do the grunt work of cleaning out the old to make room for the new, and if there's one thing a mama loves it's to have someone take work off her plate.
Wishing every mother the happiest of Mother's Days this Sunday!